The central role of food slow food
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    The central role of food slow food The central role of food slow food Document Transcript

    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com                     The  Central  Role  of  Food     Congress  Paper   2012-­‐2016      
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com CONTENTS                       1.  ABOUT  US:  Historical  Introduction     2.  WHAT  WE  ARE  TALKING  ABOUT:  The  right  to  food             2.1  From  food  to  soil  fertility                     2.2  From  food  to  the  salubrity  of  water                     1   2.3  From  food  to  the  salubrity  of  the  air                 1   2.4  From  food  to  the  defense  of  biodiversity                     2.5  From  food  to  the  landscape                   2.6  From  food  to  health                         2.7  From  food  to  knowledge  and  memory                   2.8  From  food  to  pleasure,  social  relations,  conviviality  and  sharing               3.  WHAT  WE  ARE  DOING                       3.1  A  return  to  the  land                       3.2  The  war  on  waste                           3.3  Local  economy  and  participatory  democracy                     3.4  Permanent  education                                                 Written  by  Carlo  Petrini  with  Carlo  Bogliotti,  Rinaldo  Rava,  Cinzia  Scaffidi   Translation  by  John  Irving                      
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com       1. ABOUT  US:  Historical  introduction     The   Slow   Food   World   Congress   to   be   held   in   Turin   from   October   27-­‐29,   the   sixth   in   the   history   of   the   movement,   has   been   organized   in   conjunction   with   the   fifth   Terra   Madre   event.   Its   purpose   will   be   to   discuss  the  political  and  cultural  issues  that  underlie  the  daily  work  of  the  1,500  convivia  and  more  than   2,500  food  communities  that  operate  in  130  countries  round  the  world.  This  complex,  structured  network   will  be  called  upon  to  discuss  and  share  visions  and  projects  capable  of  giving  full  meaning  to  its  work.   Ideas,  values  and  local  organizations  (convivia  and  food  communities)  are  the  Slow  Food’s  most  precious   asset—its  foundation—whereas  regional,  national  and  supranational  organizational  structures  are  the  tools   at  the  service  of  the  network,  its  diffusion  and  its  grounding  in  local  areas.     In  the  course  of  time,  flexibility  and  capacity  to  adapt  to  this  second  level  have  been  the  true  evolutionary   force   behind   Slow   Food.   In   our   history,   the   different   organizational   solutions   have   worked   in   the   main,   though  it  is  normal  in  an  evolutionary  process  for  correct  insights  to  alternate  with  errors.  But  the  lifeblood   of  the  livability  and  endurance  of  movements  comes  from  visions  and  ideas  that  generate  good  practices.   The  more  ideas  are  diverse,  shared  and  suited  to  local  contexts,  the  broader  future  prospects  will  be.       For  the  first  time  in  our  history  of  twenty  years  and  more,  a  congress  document  is  to  be  translated  into  the   languages   of   the   many   countries   in   which   we   are   present,   distributed   among   members,   convivia   and   communities  and  released  to  the  media,  political  and  cultural  institutions  and  other  organizations  that  work   to  defend  the  environment,  common  goods  and  primary  rights.  The  hope  is  that  it  will  spur  a  broad  world   debate  ahead  of  the  Congress  and  help  inspire  ideas  and  practices  in  the  various  local  areas.       The  intention  is  for  the  document  to  be  an  open  one,  for  it  to  stimulate  the  great  potential  we  represent  in   the  world  thanks  to  our  diversities.  These  we  unite  in  fraternity,  since  it  is  only  fraternity  that  can  embrace   the  complexity  of  the  world.     Diversity   is   not   for   governing   but   for   loving,   and   the   sharing   of   ideas   is   an   act   of   freedom.   Union   and   diversity,  therefore,  can  run  together  and  progress  together.       The  Slow  Food  Manifesto,  written  poetically  and  with  intelligence  by  Folco  Portinari  and  signed  in  Paris  in   December  1989  by  the  founders  of  the  movement,  was  the  first  chapter  in  the  story  of  a  way  of  thinking   now  shared  in  every  corner  of  the  planet.  Its  originality  has  inspired  the  history  of  Slow  Food  and  is  still   topical  today.  The  right  to  pleasure,  the  importance  of  consciously  living  life  at  the  right  pace,  the  value  of   cultural   biodiversity—these   are   the   issues   at   least   two   generations   of   Slow   Food   managers   have   been   trained  to  work  on.     In  the  second  half  of  the  1990s,  awareness  that  the  world  of  gastronomy  needed  to  mobilize  to  protect  a   great  agrifood  heritage  threatened  by  mass  production  inspired  Slow  Food  to  create  the  Ark  of  Taste  and   the  Presidia.  The  defense  of  plant  species,  animal  breeds  and  knowledge  at  risk  of  distinction  has  always   been  the  cornerstone  of  our  work.  At  the  beginning  of  the  new  century,  our  organization  and  our  network   had  already  gained  ground  in  most  western  countries,  but  the  real  turning  point  was  still  to  come.       In  2004,  Terra  Madre  asserted  itself  as  Slow  Food’s  most  important,  ambitious  initiative:  a  dream  come  true   that,  every  two  years  since  then,  has  extended  its  influence  over  every  continent,  improving  the  work  and   the  self-­‐esteem  of  thousands  of  food  communities,  who  now  see  their  sacrifices  and  ideas  acknowledged  in   the  network  and  through  the  network.  Terra  Madre  makes  clear  to  all  the  injustices  of  a  global  food  system   that  depletes  the  planet’s  resources  and  compromises  the  future  for  the  generations  to  come.    
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com Terra  Madre  makes  us  think  about  a  concept  of  food  quality  based  not  only  on  taste  properties,  but  also  on   respect  for  the  environment  and  fair  earnings  for  producers.   ”Good,  clean  and  fair”  sums  up  a  model  that  not  only  gives  our  movement  coherence  on  the  inside,  but  also   earns  us  authority  and  respect  on  the  outside.  In  2007,  the  World  Congress  in  Puebla,  in  the  Americas,   intercepted  this  wave  of  innovation  partly  thanks  to  young  people  who,  through  the  Youth  Food  Movement   and   the   University   of   Gastronomic   Sciences,   began   to   view   Slow   Food   and   Terra   Madre   with   growing   interest.  Since  Puebla,  the  seeds  of  Terra  Madre  and  Slow  Food  have  begun  to  germinate  with  increasing   intensity.  A  strong,  differentiated  approach  is  starting  to  take  root,  which  is  bound  to  grow  even  more  over   the   next   few   years   and   override   the   limitations   of   a   way   of   gastronomic   thinking   that   is   now   old   and   outdated.     A  holistic  vision  of  gastronomy  and  the  building  of  the  capacity  to  override  concepts  disrespectful  of  the   value  of  the  planet’s  different  cultures  are  the  greatest  challenges  facing  us  in  the  years  to  come.  In  the   course   of   time,   what   first   appeared   simply   as   a   clever   insight—the   central   role   of   food   as   a   point   of   departure  for  a  new  form  of  politics,  for  a  new  economy  and  for  new  social  relations—has  become  a  shared   certainty.  It  is  a  certainty  that  has  matured  gradually  not  only  inside  Slow  Food  but  in  every  part  of  the   world,  with  the  awareness  of  millions  of  people.     The  central  role  of  food,  so  firmly  asserted  in  this  document,  implies  the  belief  that  the  right  to  food  is  the   primary  right  of  humanity—ensuring  not  only  its  own  life  but  also  that  of  the  whole  planet.     This  assertion  will  have  important  consequences  for  our  way  of  behaving  and  working.  It  will  help  us  to   overcome  the  atavistic  limits  of  the  gastronome  who  cannot  see  beyond  his  own  plate,  landing  us  on  safe   shores  where  sobriety  meets  true  pleasure,  enlightened  agriculture  ensures  goodness  and  beauty,  savor   walks  hand  in  hand  with  savvy  and  the  local  economy  is  concerned  with  creation  and  the  future  of  young   people.   Without   the   right   to   good,   clean   and   fair   food   for   all,   these   demands   will   not   be   met   and   all   humanity  will  suffer  as  our  mother  earth  is  suffering  now.     Given  not  only  the  multitude  of  delegates  attending  but  also  the  diversity  of  their  cultures,  religions  and   individual  and  collective  backgrounds,  for  the  first  time  ever  the  composition  of  our  Congress  will  be  an   expression  of  a  true  world  network.  We  have  reached  the  conviction  that  one  way  to  vivify  and  strengthen   Slow  Food  and  Terra  Madre  is  through  mutuality  and  the  overriding  of  organizational  prejudices  born  of   diverse  sensibilities.  It  is  a  big  gamble,  but  it  is  one  well  worth  seeing  through.     The  debate  on  this  document  will  be  animated  by  meetings  and  get-­‐togethers  in  every  corner  of  the  world   in  which  Slow  Food  or  Terra  Madre  communities  live  and  work.     Let’s  hope  that  all  this  extraordinary  wealth  will  give  us  the  energy  we  need  to  continue  to  dream.         2.  WHAT  WE  ARE  TALKING  ABOUT:  The  right  to  food     To  say  that  food  has  to  become  a  central  element  of  our  thinking  about  people  again  is  to  say  something   eminently   political.   That   of   food   consumers   is   a   “non-­‐category”   insofar   as   actions   targeted   at   food   consumers  are  targeted  at  all  humanity.  This  is  why  they  are  political  actions  par  excellence.     Nowadays  we  think  of  consumers  as  people  who  “buy”  food,  but  if  food  concerns  us  only  insofar  as  it  is  sold   and  bought  (thus  becoming  a  competence  of  economic  policy  and  not  of  politics  as  such),  then  we  lose  sight   of  food  as  a  right.  Yet  that  which  is  essential  for  survival  is  part  of  the  sphere  of  rights:  this  is  why  we  speak   of  the  right  to  food  and  the  right  to  water.       Ever  since  it  was  formulated  in  article  11  of  the  International  Covenant  on  Economic,  Social  and  Cultural   rights  adopted  by  the  General  Assembly  of  the  United  Nations  in  1966,  the  idea  of  the  right  to  food  has   been  accompanied  by  the  right  to  freedom  from  hunger.    
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com Point  1  of  Article  11  of  the  Covenant  asserts  “the  right  of  everyone  to  an  adequate  standard  of  living  for   himself  and  his  family,  including  adequate  food,  clothing  and  housing,  and  to  the  continuous  improvement   of  living  conditions”,  while  point  2  recognizes  “the  fundamental  right  of  everyone  to  be  free  from  hunger”.     Without  this  second  point,  Article  11  would  not  raise  such  pressing  questions.  Its  choice  of  words  should   make  us  stop  and  think.  It  speaks  of  freedom  from  hunger,  because  hunger  is  a  form  of  slavery,  above  all   physical  slavery,  that  may  translate  into  social  and  economic  slavery,  often  involving  the  very  governments   of  countries  that  are  slaves  to  hunger,  in  which  case  it  becomes  political  slavery.       This   is   why   our   movement   has   to   declare   a   fight   against   hunger,   just   like   the   fight   against   slavery   was   declared  in  the  past.    The  fight  against  slavery  was  a  long  one  lasting  three  centuries,  and  in  some  places  in   the  world—only  a  few,  fortunately—it  has  yet  to  be  won.  We  have  to  fight  hunger  because  hunger  is,  above   all,  a  form  of  injustice,  of  arrogance  towards  other  human  beings  who  have  the  same  rights  as  we  do.  We   will  be  unable  to  feel  “at  home”  with  our  right  to  food  until  we  know  that  the  right  is  guaranteed  to  all.       There  is  something  else  in  Article  11  of  the  UNO  Convenant  that  attracts  our  attention:  the  point  which   speaks  about  the  “continuous  improvement”  of  living  conditions.  We  have  to  ask  ourselves  whether  there  is   a  limit  to  that  “continuous  improvement”  and  what  the  concept  of  limit  actually  means.  Do  those  who  have   achieved  the  guarantee  of  the  right  to  food  and  freedom  from  hunger  have  the  right  to  improve  themselves   even  though  another  part  of  humanity  has  yet  to  achieve  that  guarantee?  Or  do  we  reach  a  point  at  which   the  improvement  of  one  compromises  the  right  to  food  of  another?       It  is  the  job  of  an  association  like  ours  to  contribute  to  a  review  of  the  prospects  of  these  rights.  Because   Slow  Food  protects  the  right  to  pleasure,  and  pleasure  based  on  the  suffering  and  slavery  of  others  cannot   exist.       Another   point   worth   reflecting   upon   is   that   the   right   to   food   does   not   appear   in   Article   6   of   the   UNO   Convenant,  which  refers  to  the  right  to  life.  How  come?  Life  appears  among  civil  and  political  rights,  food   among  economic,  social  and  political  rights.  Water  does  not  appear  at  all.  It  eventually  appeared  in  the   rights   field   in   2010,   when   the   UNO   sanctioned   the   right   to   clean,   safe   water   for   cooking   and   hygienic   purposes  as  an  essential  right  for  the  “full  enjoyment  of  life  and  all  human  rights”.       It  is  as  if  there  were  something  accessorial  about  eating.  In  the  UNO  Convenant  food  does  not  enjoy  the   same  civil  and  political  right  status  as  life.  Our  Association  should  open  a  serious  debate  to  incorporate  in   the  right  to  life  the  rights  to  food  and  freedom  from  hunger,  working  tangibly  to  realize  them.       The  Covenant  was  of  course  a  product  of  its  time,  in  particular  of  the  belief  that  humanity  could  disengage   itself  from  its  own  needs  and  physical  dependences.  “Life”  is  almost  like  an  abstract  concept;  food,  one  of   the  elements  of  dependence,  appears  among  social  and  economic  rights.  But  here  we  have  the  germ  of  one   of  the  concepts  that  need  to  be  corrected,  because  food  is  not  a  right  solely  of  those  who  have  the  money   to  buy  it.       The  dream  of  a  life  independent  from  the  seasons  and,  more  generally,  from  time  and  change,  the  utopia  of   freedom  for  many  civilizations,  was  built  on  two  main  pillars:  technical  progress  and  money.  Countries  with   enough  technology  would  see  their  right  to  food  ensured.  The  food  industry  and  market-­‐oriented  industrial   agriculture  were  the  leading  paladins  of  this  vision.       But  a  universal  right  closely  connected  to  the  very  existence  of  humanity  cannot  be  conditional.  Without   technology  and  money  how  can  the  right  to  food  be  guaranteed?    
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com   But  that  is  not  all.  The  havoc  the  type  of  agriculture  described  has  wrought  upon  the  planet  and  human   health  is  now  there  for  all  to  see.  Not  only  has  that  system  failed  to  cater  for  humanity  as  a  whole  but  only   for  those  who  could  afford  to  pay,  it  has  also  damaged  the  resources  of  all,  including  those  who  have  not   benefited  from  the  results,  thus  contributing  to  the  non-­‐achievement  of  fundamental  rights  by  the  weakest.       The  High  Commissioner  for  Human  Rights  has  explored  the  definition  of  the  right  to  food,  identifying  the   following  obligations  for  States:     to  respect,  meaning  to  refrain  from  interfering  with    the  means  of  subsistence  of  their  citizens  and  their   capacity  to  provide  for  themselves;     to  protect,  implying  the  constitution  of  a  system  of  rules  on  food  safety,  environmental  protection  and   land  ownership;   to  fulfil,  implementing  suitable  policies  to  ensure  the  weakest  access  to  resources  or,  in  extreme  cases,   direct  assistance  to  at  least  allow  freedom  from  hunger.         The   first   obligation   alone   would   suffice   to   reveal   the   harmfulness   of   the   industrial   agrifood   system   determined  by  the  international  organization  of  markets  in  the  late  1960s.  For  Slow  Food  and  Terra  Madre,   this  obligation  has  to  do  with  respect  for  traditional,  sustainable  forms  of  agriculture—the  only  ones  that   have   always   protected   agrobiodiversity,   resources   and   cultural   diversities—whose   standard   bearers   are   small-­‐scale  producers,  women,  the  elderly  and  indigenous  populations.       Slow  Food’s  experience—first  with  the  Presidia,  then  with  the  Award  for  the  Defense  of  Biodiversity  and,  in   recent  years,  with  Terra  Madre—has  taught  us  that  food  security,  seen  as  quality,  access  to  and  diversity  of   food  is  not  guaranteed  by  systems  which  produce  a  few  products  over  large  extensions  of  land  without   connections  with  local  cultures  and  with  the  sole  objective  of  improving  positions  on  international  markets.     From  this  point  of  view,  the  work  we  have  done  recently  in  Africa—the  continent  that  pays  the  highest   price  in  terms  of  the  right  to  food—  encourages  us  to  continue  wholeheartedly  in  this  exemplary  direction.   The  “Thousand  Gardens”  project,  the  fight  against  land  grabbing,  famers’  markets,  food  communities,  the   rights  of  indigenous  peoples,  the  campaigns  of  our  African  members—all  these  elements  have  convinced  us   that  working  with  local  communities  is  indispensable  if  we  are  to  ensure  the  right  to  food.  Given  our  sense   of  universal  fraternity,  we  feel  obliged  to  give  all  the  backing  we  can  to  the  African  network  that  operates   within  our  movement.  This  network  is  fully  aware  that  the  future  of  Africa  is  in  its  hands,  but  nobody  should   forget  how  the  root  cause  of  the  continent’s  problems  resides  in  old  and  new  forms  of  colonialism.  And  we   have  to  realize  that  the  future  of  Africa  is  the  future  of  the  world.  Decolonizing  our  thinking  as  a  token  of   reciprocity  and  generosity  is  an  indirect  way  of  supporting  the  communities  we  are  are  part  of  and  of  our   right  to  food  in  every  corner  of  the  Earth.       For  food  security,  the  right  to  food,  can  only  be  achieved  by  respecting  cultural  diversities,  which  create   physical  and  psychological  well-­‐being  inside  communities,  and  also  small  local  economies,  which  take  care   of  their  areas  and  revitalize  business  activities  and  human  growth  to  become  universally  repeatable  and   adaptable  model  experiences.       This  is  why  making  the  right  to  water,  the  right  to  food  and  the  right  to  freedom  from  hunger  central  to   policymaking  means  putting  people,  not  markets,  at  the  center.  We  think  that  this  is  the  task  of  a  policy  to   defend  a  common  good  and  that  this  is  the  ambit  in  which  our  association  has  to  move  with  ever  increasing   decision  at  all  levels  and  on  many  fronts.       We  have  to  wage  a  relentless  war  on  starvation:  in  Africa  and  in  South  America,  in  Asia  and  in  the  United   States,  in  the  countryside  and  in  the  great  metropolises.  There  are  no  more  urgent  wars  to  be  fought—
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com there  are  no  alternative  priorities.  We  cannot  speak  about  sustainability,  about  rights  or  about  the  future,  if   we   do   not   speak,   first   and   foremost,   about   hunger.   Slow   Food   intends   to   take   the   battlefield   without   hesitation,  fighting  this  war  with  no  holds  barred.  FAO  estimates  that  it  will  take  34  billion  dollars  a  year—a   ridiculous  figure  compared  to  the  sums  spent  to  bail  European  and  American  banks  out  of  the  financial   crisis—to  reverse  the  trend  once  and  for  all.       It  is  our  job  to  pressurize  our  different  governments  into  making  the  war  on  hunger  the  priority  of  world   policy.    We  can’t  afford  to  wait  any  longer.         2.1  From  food  to  soil  fertility     Food  is  what  ought  to  remind  us  every  day  that  we  are  part  of  Nature,  that  we  belong  to  Nature,  that  we   are   inside   Nature—the   greatest   living   system.   Food   comes   from   Nature   via   the   Earth   and   through   it   becomes  culture.  It  then  returns  to  Nature,  again  via  the  Earth.  Exactly  as  we  do  who,  at  the  end  of  our   lives,  become  part  of  the  Earth  again.  Our  metabolism  is  that  of  all  living  systems:  animals,  plants,  micro-­‐ organisms,  the  Earth  itself.  Ancient  poets  described  metabolism  as  “the  life  breath”.  I  eat  something  that   comes  from  the  Earth,  I  digest  it,  I  absorb  its  energy  and  then  I  restore  it  to  the  Earth.  The  planet  on  which   we  live  also  works  in  this  way  and  its  metabolism  is  what  ensures  life.       The  soil  too  is  a  system  made  up  of  living  beings.  Its  fertility  depends  on  the  life  of  these  organisms  and  is   indispensable  for  ensuring  the  lives  of  each  of  us  and  the  life  of  the  planet.  In  both  cases,  food  production  is   of   the   utmost   importance.   The   soil   eats   up   what   we   restore   to   it,   digesting   and   restoring   in   turn   in   a   continuous  cycle  of  connections  that  science  has  yet  to  explain  fully.       By  threatening  and  compromising  soil  fertility  and  soil’s  role  as  a  living  system,  we  jeopardize  Earth’s  “life   breath”,  our  life  and  the  life  of  the  planet  we  live  on.     Choosing   what   to   eat   enables   us   to   defend   fertility,   now   increasingly   threatened   the   world   over   by   the   intensive  growing  and  breeding  practices  of  industrial  agriculture,  by  the  misuse  of  chemicals  on  the  land,   by  the  dumping  of  sewage  and  effluents  in  the  soil,  by  industrial  waste,  by  refuse  and  so  on.  Then  there  are   other  forms  of  speculation  that  literally  kill  the  soil,  such  as  large  alternative  energy  plants—solar  cells  on   fertile  land,  for  example—or  large-­‐scale  engineering  projects  such  as  dams,  bridges  and  roads.  Sometimes   the  benefits  of  these  projects  fail  to  compensate  for  the  definitive  loss  of  fertile  land.  But  in  many  areas  of   the  planet,  especially  those  considered  most  “developed”,  soil  fertility  has  another  big  enemy:  overbuilding   and  indiscriminate  urbanization.  We  do  not  possess  enough  data  to  give  a  full  picture  of  the  situation  at   global  level—and  probably  many  rural  communities  are  still  not  affected  by  these  problems  or  only  partially   so—but  in  many  parts  of  the  world  the  building  of  houses,  apartment  blocks,  shopping  malls  and  industrial   plants  is  taking  away  huge  swaths  of  land  every  day  that  could  be  producing  food  or  at  least  ensuring  our   “life  breath”,  if  only  by  remaining  fallow  and  absorbing  rainfall.  This  “consumed”  soil  has  been  lost  forever.       It   is   hard   for   us   to   take   a   stand   against   this   building   work   and   these   large-­‐scale   engineering   projects   individually,  as  ordinary  inhabitants  of  this  planet.  But  we  can  do  it  if  we  join  forces  as  citizens  and  link  up   with  other  organizations  to  make  our  voice  sound  out  loud  in  defense  of  soil  fertility  as  a  common  good.  It   is   easy,   moreover,   to   choose   or   cultivate   good,   clean   and   healthy   food   that   respects   and   maintains   soil   fertility.  These  are  the  arms  we  possess  as  food  producers  and  co-­‐producers  to  transform  the  simple  act  of   eating  into  a  message  directed  at  those  who  fail  to  understand  that  soil  fertility  is  sacred  and  that  when  a   piece  of  land  is  “killed”,  it  is  highly  unlikely  that  it  can  come  back  to  life  again.  With  good,  clean  and  fair   food  as  a  central  part  of  our  existence,  we  help  maintain  the  “life  breath”  down  the  centuries.        
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com 2.2  From  food  to  the  salubrity  of  water       Like  our  bodies,  70  percent  of  our  planet  is  made  up  of  water.    The  land  we  live  on  is  enclosed  in  and  crossed   over  by  water.  All  our  actions  have  an  echo  in  a  place  of  water,  whether  it  is  the  sea,  a  river  or  a  lake—or   simply  the  air,  which  releases  the  substances  it  contains  into  water.       With   regard   to   water,   the   adoption   of   the   interdisciplinary   approach,   which   demands   analysis   of   every   problem  related  to  nature,  becomes  unavoidable.  We  have  to  understand  the  impact  of  our  behavior  on  the   land—not  only  in  the  agrifood  sector,  but  also  in  other  sectors  of  human  activity,  such  as  tourism,  transport,   industry,  building  and  tourism—on  the  quality  of  internal  waters  and  the  sea.       This  is  why  Slow  Food  is  increasingly  called  upon  to  make  pronouncements  on  issues  that  apparently  have   little   to   do   with   its   immediate   interests.   Our   behavior   as   consumers/users   involves   the   same   level   of   responsibility  as  that  of  politicians  and  industrialists.  It  is  necessary  to  learn  to  reason  in  terms  of  our  “water   footprint”:  meaning  how  much  and  how  we  move,  how  much  occupation  of  the  soil  (hence  “waterproofing”)   we  cause,  how  much  water  we  fail  to  save  or  waste,  how  much  water  the  food  we  choose  “costs”.  The  planet   only  has  one  water  supply  network.  The  life  of  every  drop  of  water  we  drink  is  connected  to  the  life  of  the   sea.  The  life  of  the  river  that  runs  through  our  city  before  running  down  to  sea  is  connected  to  the  water  used   by  our  factories.       There  are  three  sides  to  the  matter  that  we  have  to  consider.     In  the  first,  we  can  include  all  human  activities  that  have  nothing  to  do  with  food.  Road  building,  transport,   industry—all  these  activities  need  water  and  have  consequences  on  water.       In   the   second,   we   can   place   all   agribusiness-­‐related   activities,   including   the   production   of   alternative   energies.  The  way  in  which  we  cultivate  our  fields  or  raise  our  livestock  may  seriously  pollute  aquifers  or  use   up  too  much  water.  In  general,  large-­‐scale  crop  and  livestock  farming  involving  non-­‐traditional  varieties  or   breeds—hence   unsuitable   for   a   given   area—require   several   inputs   in   terms   of   energy   and   water.   It   also   implies   high   levels   of   water   wastage   and   considerable   outputs   of,   or   failure   to   store,   CO2,   with   ulterior   consequences  in  terms  of  problems  for  the  water  cycle.  It  may  also  contribute  to  climate  change,  another   factor  that  affects  the  water  cycle.  The  same  applies  to  industrial  food  processing  and  distribution.     The  third  concerns  food  that  comes  directly  from  water,  hence  fishing,  sea  fishing  in  particular.  At  a  planetary   level,  the  situation  of  the  seas  is  worrying:  not  only  are  they  adversely  affected  by  human  activities  on  land,   but  they  are  also  under  such  pressure  from  fishing  that  certain  fish  stocks  are  starting  to  teeter  on  the  verge   of  extinction.  It  is  necessary  to  grasp  the  scale  of  the  problem  in  order  to  understand  just  how  much  damage   and  waste  industrial  fishing  can  cause  and  the  level  of  sustainability  small-­‐scale  coastal  fishing  can  ensure.   Besides,  attempts  to  transfer  productive  models  tested  on  land,  such  as  farming,  have  clearly  shown  that,   save  for  a  few  exceptions,  their  ecological  impact  is  such  that  they  cannot  for  the  moment  be  considered  a   viable  alternative  to  fishing.       All  of  this  concerns  us  and  Slow  Food’s  commitment  in  this  field  has  to  grow.         2.3  From  food  to  the  salubrity  of  the  air     In  our  towns  and  cities,  the  fine  dust  and  heavy  metal  particles  in  the  air  are  above  the  safety  level  for  most   of  the  year.  Lung  and  skin  diseases  caused  by  exposure  to  toxic  agents  are  increasing,  as  is  the  frequency  of  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com tumors.  The  quality  of  our  air  is  deteriorating  all  the  time  and,  as  a  result,  so  is  the  quality  of  our  lives.  In   health  and,  hence,  money  terms,  the  costs  are  weighing  more  and  more  on  family  and  state  budgets.     In  2010,  115  million  containers  were  moved  round  the  world  and  there  was  also,  of  course,  a  huge  flow  of   goods  transport  by  road  and  rail.     This   means   that   the   impact   of   global   commerce   on   the   quality   of   the   planet’s   air   is   staggering.   Food   is   largely   responsible   for   increasing   the   already   astronomical   figures,   with   huge   quantities   of   products   travelling  round  the  globe  to  go  from  field  to  table.         Food  production  has  to  be  sustainable  and  enhance  the  quality  of  life  and  the  environment—the  air  first   and   foremost.   This   is   possible   only   with   small-­‐scale   agriculture.   Monoculture   sees   food   as   a   commodity   whose  value  is  dictated  exclusively  by  price.  It  cannot  by  its  very  nature  be  concerned  about  the  impact  of   transport  and  the  use  of  chemicals.  Monocultures  are  dangerous  for  the  environment  and  for  people  living   near  plantations.  Air  quality  is  deteriorated  by  chemical  agents  (fertilizers  and  pesticides)  and  the  burden  is   made  all  the  heavier  by  the  huge  amount  of  CO2  emitted  to  transport  products  from  one  side  of  the  globe   to  another.       This  can  and  must  not  be  tolerated  any  longer.  It  jeopardizes  the  salubrity  of  the  air,  the  quality  of  our  lives   and   our   very   survival.   It   is   unthinkable   that   our   future   should   still   contemplate   an   agricultural   system   envisaging  the  arrival  on  our  tables  of  food  mostly  produced  thousands  of  miles  away  and  conserved  for   sometimes  very  long  periods  to  allow  it  to  survive  its  useless  journey.     We   must   and   wish   to   question   and   radically   change   the   prerequisites   of   a   form   of   agriculture   that   has   become  a  threat  to  the  environment.  Small-­‐scale,  local  and  organic  are  our  answer  to  agroindustry  with   negative  externalities.         2.4  From  food  to  the  defense  of  biodiversity     The   question   of   biodiversity   has   long   been   at   the   top   of   the   Slow   Food   and   Terra   Madre   agenda.   By   “biodiversity”  we  mean  the  sum  of  all  forms  of  life  on  the  planet,  comprising  not  only  single  species  but  also   entire  ecosystems.   The  United  Nations  have  declared  the  years  2011-­‐2020  the  “Decade  on  Biodiversity”  and  Slow  Food  intends   to  play  a  leading  role  in  the  initiative.     We   have   always   promoted   good,   clean   and   fair   food   and,   in   so   doing,   have   held   in   our   hands   an   unmatchable   tool   in   the   fight   against   the   loss   of   biodiversity   at   many   levels,   from   the   wild   to   the   agricultural.   To   promote   local   food   and   quality   small-­‐scale   food   production   is,   in   fact,   to   protect   animal   breeds  and  plant  varieties  that  may  sometimes  be  less  productive  in  an  absolute  sense,  but  do  possess   great  capacities,  matured  over  thousands  of  years  of  evolution,  to  adapt  to  a  given  organic  and  soil  and   climate  conditions.     It  is  necessary  to  stress  this  point  and  raise  awareness  of  the  potential  of  quality  food  for  the  conservation   of  biodiversity,  both  biological  and  cultural.       The  data  are  alarming  and  attention  is  growing  even  at  institutional  level  (2010  was  the  “International  Year   of  Biodiversity”).  If  we  continue  at  this  rate,  by  the  end  of  the  century  10  percent  of  all  living  species  will  be   extinct.  Another  fundamental  point  for  any  understanding  of  the  scope  and  magnitude  of  the  phenomenon   is  that  it  is  not  only  wild  species  that  are  at  risk  of  extinction  but,  also  and  above  all,  species  domesticated   for  the  production  of  food.  “FAO  estimates  that,  to  date,  75  percent  of  varieties  of  agrarian  crops  have  been   lost  and  that  just  twelve  plant  species  and  five  animal  breeds  provide  three  quarters  of  world  food”  [Slow   Food  Position  Paper  on  Biodiversity].  This  means  that  we  are  well  on  the  way  to  rendering  the  living  system  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com we  are  part  of  fragile,  and  that  this  system  will  have  fewer  and  fewer  resources  to  adapt  to  the  inevitable   changes  and  growing  problems  caused  by  the  irresponsible  use  of  natural  resources.       Biodiversity  offers  us  services  that  we  cannot  reproduce  in  any  other  way  and  which  we  cannot  do  without.   To   cite   only   the   most   glaring,   a   system   with   a   high   degree   of   biodiversity   is   capable   of   responding   adequately  to  climate  change  and  performing  a  very  important  function  in  climate  regulation  by  keeping   conditions  constant,  alleviating  global  warming  and  protecting  very  broad  areas  of  the  planet  from  the  risk   of  hydrogeological  upheaval.  And  let  us  not  forget  that  the  value  of  biodiversity  is  also  aesthetic  (hence   economic,   since   much   of   our   tourism,   for   example,   owes   its   existence   to   our   agrarian   landscapes)   and   spiritual   (hence   protective   of   collective   health)   and   that,   last   but   not   least,   it   performs   a   regenerating   function.  It  is  no  coincidence,  in  fact,  that  the  areas  with  a  high  level  of  biodiversity  are  the  ones  in  which   soil  regeneration  is  highest  and  fastest,  and  in  which  the  impact  of  polluting  agents  artificially  released  by   human  activity  is  mildest.     Biodiversity  is  important  not  only  with  regard  to  animal  and  plant  species,  but  also  to  an  infinity  of  human   activities  (cooking,  craft  food  production  and  other  craft  activities,  traditional  medicine,  rituals,  festivals  and   so  on)  incapable  of  surviving  the  standardization  of  crops  and  production  and  processing  techniques.       A  production  system  that  puts  the  survival  of  the  planet  at  risk  has  to  be  countered  by  Slow  Food  and  Terra   Madre’s  vision  of  food:  it  cannot  and  must  not  become  a  threat  to  biodiversity.  Paradoxical  but  true,  today   we   are   living   through   a   moment   in   history   in   which   the   main   threat   to   the   life   of   so   many   species   is   precisely  the  production  of  food,  the  element  indispensable  for  life.     Large-­‐scale  food  production,  agroindustry,  monoculture,  chemical  agriculture—these  are  the  main  culprits   of  the  disaster.  Sustainable  local  agriculture  based  on  native  techniques  and  species,  which  does  not  make   indiscriminate  use  of  chemicals,  which  does  not  waste  water  resources  and  which  is  concerned  about  more   than  just  quantity—this  is  an  effective  tool  to  correct  the  current  situation.  We  simply  cannot  go  on  like   this.  If  agriculture  manages  to  save  itself,  then  it  will  save  the  planet  too.  And  it  can  do  so  by  privileging  the   local  dimension,  traditional  and  native  varieties  and  the  small  scale.  There  is  no  other  way  out.  The  Terra   Madre  food  communities  are  an  example  of  this  virtuous  model.   The  question  of  traditional  and  native  varieties  demands  further  reflection:  seeds  form  the  basis  of  any   form   of   plant   agriculture,   determining   not   only   its   produce   but   also   its   model.   Monoculture,   so-­‐called   market-­‐oriented   industrial   agriculture,   is   based   on   the   productive   performance   of   its   own   seeds,   which   have  to  be  uniform  and  identical  anywhere  and  in  any  climate.  These  are  what  are  known  as  “commercial   hybrids”,  the  fruit  of  the  crossing  of  pure  parental  lines.  The  first  generation  produces  good  results,  but   insofar  as  these  seeds  are  “clones”,  not  “families”.  They  do  not  possess  the  variability  that  converts  into   resistance  and  allows  traditionally  multiplied  native  species  to  respond  more  flexibly  to  the  challenges  of   the   climate   and   the   conditions   of   a   given   area,   they   need   to   be   supported   by   more   external   inputs   (water,   pesticides,  insecticides  and  so  on).     Sustainable  agriculture,  which  seeks  to  have  as  little  impact  as  possible  on  resources,  even  helping  to  keep   them  in  good  health,  requires  traditional  seeds  and  has  to  maintain  authority  over  how  they  reproduce,   multiply  and  renew.  Such  seeds  are  increasingly  less  known  today  just  as  the  expertise  needed  to  protect   them   is   increasingly   less   common.   It   is   all   very   well   to   ask   more   and   more   people   to   grow   their   own   gardens,  but  if  these  gardens  can  only  count  upon  commercial  hybrids  they  will  only  do  half  their  job.  True,   they  will  be  important  for  health,  for  the  economy  and  for  the  landscape,  but  at  the  same  time  they  will  fail   to  truly  protect  the  biodiversity  of  seeds  and  the  environment.  The  many  farmers  who  are  still  capable  of   reproducing  and  multiplying  their  seeds,  all  the  consumers  who  have  the  authenticity  of  what  they  buy  at   heart  and  marketers  who  intend  to  work  not  only  for  profit  but  also  for  the  good  of  the  planet—all  these   people  have  to  realize  that  there  can  be  no  food  sovereignty  without  traditional  seeds,  hence  must  forge  an  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com alliance  to  up  the  ante  on  their  importance.  GMOs  are  an  extreme  case  that  hogs  the  limelight,  but  the   interest   of   companies   for   the   patentability   of   seeds   is   now   shifting   from   GMOs   to   conventional   seeds,   indeed   from   seeds   to   finished   products.   In   order   to   protect   biodiversity   and   the   practice   of   food   sovereignty,  it  is  thus  necessary  to  firmly  reassert  the  value  of  traditional  seeds  and  find  tools  to  curb  their   loss  and  that  of  skills,  now  underway  at  every  latitude.     2.5  From  food  to  the  landscape     If  we  are  members  of  the  Slow  Food  movement  and  if  we  are  part  of  the  Terra  Madre  network,  it  is  not  only   because  we  are  concerned  about  the  way  we  eat,  but  also  because  we  are  aware  that,  to  eat  in  a  good,   clean  and  fair  manner,  it  is  vital  for  us  to  take  good  care  of  the  part  of  the  planet  we  live  on.  We  love  the   places  in  which  we  live  and  work  and  we  feel  the  duty  to  preserve  them,  using  resources  in  such  a  way  as   not  to  hinder  their  renewal  and  seeking  to  realize  their  potential  through  agriculture.  We  feel  obliged  to   take  care  of  our  land,  because  anyone  who  takes  care  of  someone  or  something  is  showing  love.  And  it  is   love  that  we  feel  for  our  land.  Whether  in  the  countryside  or  in  the  city,  our  ambition  is  to  live  in  places  in   which  food  production,  distribution  and  consumption  are  activities  in  harmony  with  the  system  in  which   they  take  place—which  should  never  be  distorted  or  compromised  or  destroyed.       Usually,  a  place  that  is  productive  in  a  good,  clean  and  fair  way  is  a  place  we  like.  A  nice  place.  It  could  be   our  fields,  where  we  grow  vegetables  or  graze  animals.  Or  a  rural  or  urban  garden.  Or  where  we  go  to   market  to  meet  and  swap  ideas  and  information.  Or  maybe  even  the  place  where  we  are  convivial  and  have   social  relations  with  our  friends.  All  of  this  is  connected  to  food.  For  when  food  is  good,  clean  and  fair,   everything  is  part  of  a  system  that  is  visibly  beautiful.  Meadows,  woods,  gardens,  hamlets,  villages,  towns   and  cities  that  respect  Nature—they  form  the  daily  landscape  that  we  like  the  best,  the  one  we  would  like   to  see  every  day  and  love  to  visit  when  we  are  on  our  travels.  The  landscape  and  its  beauty  are  treasures   that  help  us  to  live  better,  that  make  us  feel  well.  They  make  existence  more  pleasant  and  they  enhance  the   pride  we  feel  for  our  land.     Through  food  we  thus  have  the  opportunity  to  ensure  that  beauty  surrounds  us  all  the  time  and  that  future   generations  can  enjoy  it  too.  Beauty  is  not  an  option  or  a  luxury,  nor  is  it  antithetical  to  human  progress.  In   industrial  societies  too,  much  beauty  has  been  squandered  for  the  sake  of  a  misguided  idea  of  “progress”.   Victims  of  “progress”  are  also  the  many  agrarian  societies  that  suffer  neglect  and  dereliction  or  an  excessive   intensification  of  farming  activities.  Beauty  has  disappeared  from  their  countryside.       In  antiquity,  beauty  was  also  sought  after  and  “cultivated”:  our  ancestors,  at  every  latitude,  always  pursued   it.  Today  we  have  to  reiterate  that,  as  in  the  past,  beauty  is  indispensable  for  human  well-­‐being,  a  synonym   of  civilization  and  real  progress.  The  more  the  beauty  around  us,  the  more  there  is  real  well-­‐being.  The   beauty  of  the  landscape  is  the  most  immediate  proof  of  an  area’s  health,  well  balanced  between  human   activity  and  natural  luxuriousness.  Beauty  is  an  indicator  of  harmony,  just  as  harmony  has  always  been  an   indicator  of  beauty.     Beauty  is  a  value—an  absolute  value  but  also  a  value  of  food.  Good  food  not  only  gives  pleasure,  but  is  also   a  creator  and  conserver  of  beauty.  The  quality  of  the  landscape  in  which  we  live  is  also  symptomatic  of  how   much  our  systems  are  good,  clean  and  fair.  This  is  why  it  needs  to  be  defended.         2.6  From  food  to  health     Eating  “well”  is  a  key  element  of  good  health.  One  of  the  many  functions  of  food—one  of  the  many  rights  of   which  it  is  a  vehicle—is  thus  that  of  health.  But  this,  alas,  also  means  that  the  fate  of  food  is  tied  to  the  fate   of  those  rights.    
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com   In  the  market-­‐dominated  contemporary  world,  food—and  the  values  and  rights  related  to  it—has  become  a   commodity.  Food  is  sold,  food  is  bought  and  food  is  wasted.     The  same  is  happening  with  health.   In  the  rich  world,  which  unites  the  damage  of  highly  industrialized  food  to  that  of  an  increasingly  sedentary   lifestyle,   diseases   such   as   obesity   and   diabetes   and   cardiovascular   complaints   are   at   an   epidemiological   danger  point.  What  is  this,  if  not  a  waste  of  health?       In  the  rich  world,  remedies  are  developed  for  disorders  that  could  be  avoided.  But  avoiding  disorders  is  not   functional  to  the  market,  hence  resources  that  might  be  allocated  to  education  and  prevention  fail  to  find   the  right  channels.  And  consumers  who  are  less  and  less  informed  about  food  fall  ill  more  and  more  and   buy  an  increasing  number  of  medicines.  Health  is  a  commodity.       Where   there   is   no   money,   there   is   hunger   for   health,   but   this   is   a   world   for   which   the   market   has   no   interest.  It  is  very  profitable  to  create—simply  by  investing  in  training—ignorant  wealthy  consumers  who   eat  badly  and  have  sky-­‐high  cholesterol  levels.  They  are  in  a  position  to  buy  medicines  and  nutraceuticals.  It   is  highly  unlikely  that,  with  no  food  culture,  they  will  be  of  any  use,  but  that  is  not  a  problem  for  the  market.   Meanwhile,  on  the  other  side  of  the  world,  a  poor  person  may  catch  malaria  but  cannot  buy  a  remedy  that   has  not  been  developed  anyway.       The  market  cannot  put  right  the  damage  it  causes.  It  is  necessary  to  intervene  to  thwart  both  the  increase   in  “diseases  of  prosperity”  and  hunger  and  malnutrition.       Health   should   be   considered   a   common   good.   The   health   of   an   individual   is   part   of   a   system   of   interdependencies,  part  of  the  health  of  a  community  and  its  ability  to  take  care  of  its  territory,  itself  and  its   future.       Health   is   not   a   personal   effect.   Of   course,   we   have   rights   to   our   health,   but   we   are   not   the   only   ones   responsible   for   our   health   nor   the   only   victims   of   our   lack   of   health.   There   cannot   be   individual   health   without  collective  health.       Health   is   a   common   good   because   it   concerns   not   only   the   present   generations,   but   also   those   of   the   future.  To  future  generations  we  transmit  not  only  our  DNA,  but  also  an  environment  and  a  level  of  health   directly  connected  to  the  way  in  which  we  behave  and  eat  today.  And  what  applies  to  health  also  applies  to   other  common  goods:     everyone  has  the  right  to  have  access  to  it   everyone  has  the  duty  not  to  waste  it  and  favor  the  conditions  for  its  renewal,  conservation  and  fair   distribution.       The  path  that  leads  me  to  choose  food  inadequate  for  my  body,  hence  to  create  the  conditions  for  my  own   personal  heart  attack  is  the  same  that  leads  me  to  support  a  food  system  that  exacerbates  climate  change,   for  example,  maybe  causing  drought  in  parts  of  the  world  where,  if  I  had  behaved  differently,  people  could   be  living  better.  Instead,  they  have  neither  enough  wealth  to  buy  health  nor  responsibility  for  the  health   problem  that  has  been  foisted  upon  them.       Sustainable  food  production,  combined  with  adequate  suitable  citizen-­‐consumer  education,  helps  create   and  maintain  health.  This  is  why  we  believe  that  health  falls  within  the  competence  of  Slow  Food.     2.7  From  food  to  knowledge  and  memory      
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com   In   human   history,   food   production,   conservation   and   distribution   have   built   an   immense   legacy   of   knowledge   that   has   been   conveyed   through   time   and   space   and   is   constantly   changing   to   ensure   adaptability  and  efficiency.  Storing  memory  and  handing  down  knowledge  from  one  generation  to  the  next   are   an   effective   method   for   not   repeating   the   mistakes   of   others,   but   also   a   primary   condition   for   discovering   new   frontiers   and   new   opportunities.   For   centuries,   this   knowledge   has   been   one   of   the   distinctive  characteristics  of  communities.  Women,  farmers  and  the  elderly  were  its  main  repositories  and   transmitters.     Combined  with  native  cultures,  this  variegated  cognitive  system  is  now  defined  as  traditional  knowledge.  In   the   course   of   time,   it   has   been   reinforced   by   practice   and   handed   down   orally   inside   families   and   communities.    With  the  advent  of  the  Industrial  Revolution,  with  big  business’s  control  of  science  and  the   commercialization  of  knowledge  through  patents,  a  dualism  was  consolidated  between  official  science  and   traditional   knowledge   that   is   of   no   benefit   to   the   common   good.   Slow   Food   believes   that   only   through   dialogue,   dialectics   and   the   mutual   exchange   between   these   two   realms   of   knowledge   is   it   possible   to   imagine   a   sustainable   future.   But   this   dialogue   must   take   place   among   peers,   thus   enhancing   mutual   competences  and  specificities.         New   technologies   are   by   no   means   at   odds   with   this   dialogue   and   may,   indeed,   help   to   catalogue   and   spread   traditional   knowledge.   The   University   of   Gastronomic   Sciences   in   Pollenzo   is   working   in   this   direction  through  a  system  of  applied  research  entitled  “The  Granaries  of  Memory”.  New  audiovisual  tools   allow  students,  food  communities  and  convivia  to  collect  oral  records  and  convivial  practices  and  rites  to   catalogue  and  subsequently  make  available  to  all  those  interested  in  knowledge  transmission.  The  small   university  in  Pollenzo,  opened  in  2004,  the  same  year  as  Terra  Madre,  is  part  of  our  broader  educational   project.  The  fact  that  it  is  attended  by  students  from  62  different  countries  is  the  best  guarantee  possible  of   vitality,  longevity  and  progress  for  our  ideas  and  our  projects     Meanwhile,  other  forms  of  socialization  of  knowledge  are  springing  up  within  the  world  of  Slow  Food.  They   include   training   schools   for   young   farmers   in   other   universities   and   the   “Grandmothers’   University”   in   Ireland.  Insofar  as  they  are  a  guarantee  of  innovation  and  a  holistic  approach  capable  of  lending  dignity  to   community   knowledge,   it   is   important   to   incentivize   diverse   pluralist   knowledge   systems.   Just   as   communities  claim  food  sovereignty,  it  is  equally  vital  to  grant  sovereignty  over  the  knowledge  that  has   developed  in  the  course  of  time  at  the  service  of  the  common  good.  The  exchange  of  this  knowledge  among   the  Terra  Madre  communities  is  our  movement’s  most  important  and  most  gratifying  mission.  Participatory   democracy  cannot  exist  without  the  recognition  and  circulation  of  the  food  knowledge  of  communities  for   the  well-­‐being  of  future  generations  and  the  natural  world.  The  right  to  food  without  the  socialization  of   knowledge  is  a  mere  pipedream.         2.8  From  food  to  pleasure,  social  relations,  conviviality  and  sharing     The  grassroots  organizational  structure  of  the  Slow  Food  movement  is  known  as  a  convivium,  a  word  that   conjures  up  the  banquet,  getting  together  round  a  table  not  only  to  break  bread  but  also  to  talk  and  discuss   and   indulge   in   social   relations.   This   is   arguably   the   highest,   noblest   concept   that   food   culture   has   consolidated  in  the  course  of  time.  Social  relations,  the  swapping  of  ideas  and  stories,  affectivity,  friendly   joking  and  even  business  agreements—all  these  things  can  take  place  through  the  sharing  of  food.       Towards  the  mid  1970s,  Ivan  Illich,  one  of  the  great  contemporary  thinkers,  popularized  a  new  concept  of   conviviality  and  convivial  society,  pitting  it  against  utilitarianism  and  the  production  systems  that  mortify  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com the  labor  of  millions  of  people.  Conviviality  reinforces  the  pursuit  of  the  common  good  and  the  capacity  of   every   individual   to   shape   his   or   her   own   future   by   generating   efficiency   without   degrading   the   environment.   In   fact,   small-­‐scale   agricultural   production,   well-­‐rooted   local   economies   and   food   artisans   could  be  the  leading  players  of  conviviality.  At  this  moment  in  time,  the  support  the  Slow  Food  movement   and  Terra  Madre  provide  to  the  world’s  farmers,  fishers  and  shepherds  is  the  most  important  contribution   to  change  for  a  food  system  that  has  stopped  working.  The  best  expression  of  conviviality  is  a  conscious   rapport  between  consumers  and  producers—no  longer  passive  but  now  aware,  responsible  co-­‐producers.   Farmers’   markets   and   community-­‐supported   agriculture   are   very   real   forms   of   sociality   and   new   conviviality.  This  is  the  new  playing  field  for  politics,  and  it  is  here  that  the  economy  and  intergenerational   relations  can  be  changed,  that  the  return  of  young  people  to  the  land  can  be  incentivized  and  that  dignity   can  be  restored  to  young  famers.       Knowledge  transmission  from  one  generation  to  another  is  also  an  act  of  new  conviviality.       For  all  these  reasons,  it  is  important  to  reassert  the  importance  of  the  name—convivia—that  we  give  our   grassroots  organizational  structures,  precisely  because  it  is  here  that  it  is  possible  to  create  not  only  the   pleasure  of  the  banquet  but  also  new  forms  of  conviviality.  We  are  the  only  movement  that  manages  to   encompass   the   right   to   pleasure   and   social   and   cultural   commitment.   In   other   words,   the   pleasure   of   shared  commitment.     In  its  dual  meaning  of  eating  food  and  social  relations,  conviviality  is  an  essential  component  of    human   well-­‐being  and  can  be  achieved  creatively  and  in  diverse  ways  all  over  the  world.     The  whole  Slow  Food  movement  is  called  upon  to  express  this  creativity  with  commitment  and  passion.         3. WHAT  WE  ARE  DOING     If  we  analyze  the  operational  prospects  offered  by  the  points  discussed  above,  we  cannot  help  but  stress   how  each  of  them  refers  to  a  sphere  not  so  much  of  the  opportunities  food  gives  us  to  design  a  better   world   as   of   inalienable   human   rights.   Soil   fertility,   the   salubrity   of   the   air   and   water,   biodiversity,   the   pristine  landscape,  health,  knowledge  and  memory,  social  relations  –  these  are  rights,  not  the  privileges  of   those  who  can  afford  to  buy  them.  It  is  our  duty  to  reassert  them.  But  how?   The  four  ambits  listed  below  are  the  ones  to  which  we  should  devote  our  commitment  over  the  next  few   years.  These  are  the  goals  we  have  identified  for  our  next  mandate.               3.1  A  return  to  the  land     We  are  not  being  rhetorical  when  we  say  that,  for  humanity—the  whole  of  humanity—a  return  to  the  land   will  be  vital.  We  have  every  opportunity  to  make  this  happen,  and  there  are  many  ways  to  approach  the   problem  so  that  everyone  is  involved,  no  one  excluded.       In  the  first  instance,  a  return  to  the  land  could  mean  actually  growing  crops  and  farming.  All  over  the  world   the  countryside  has  been  depopulated.  More  and  more  often,  young  people  no  longer  feel  the  need  to   carry  on  the  work  of  their  fathers.  Where  their  families  have  stopped  working  the  land  for  generations,   farming  work  is  rarely  seen  as  a  life  options  for  youngsters.       In  industrialized  countries,  the  first  to  experience  this  process,  the  countryside  has  been  emptied  of  people   and  filled  with  machines.  The  same  thing  is  happening,  at  a  varying  rate,  in  newly  industrializing  countries.   According  to  UNO  data,  since  2009  more  than  half  the  world’s  population  lives  in  urban  areas.  Three  years  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com ago,  country  was  overtaken  by  town  for  the  first  time  in  history  (3.42  billion  urban  inhabitants  against  3.41   billion  urban  dwellers)  and  forecasts  based  on  statistical  calculations  confirm  the  trend  for  the  future.  So   who  is  going  to  grow  our  food?     We  need  people  in  the  countryside,  so  it  is  necessary  to  encourage  young  people  to  return  to  farming.  To   do   this   it   takes   land,   tools,   infrastructure,   simpler   red-­‐tape,   funding,   proper   education   and   the   handing   down  of  traditional  knowledge.  But  what  is  necessary  most  of  all  is  to  restore  pride  and  dignity  to  farm   work,  one  of  the  most  useful,  delicate,  important  and,  it  has  to  be  added,  beautiful  forms  of  labor  of  all.   Making   food   for   oneself   and   for   one’s   neighbor   is   the   purest   and   most   complete   way   of   giving   food   a   central  role,  of  being  a  harmonious  part  of  natural  systems,  of  interacting  respectfully  with  these  systems  to   make  them  evolve  and  of  drawing  from  them  a  means  of  sustenance  and  a  gratification  that  few  jobs  in  the   world  can  equal.     Objectively  speaking,  however,  not  everyone  has  the  chance  to  return  to  the  farming  profession.  People   who  live  in  urban  areas,  for  example.  But  even  in  urban  areas,  it  is  possible  to  “go  back  to  the  land”.  Indeed,   this  is  becoming  an  absolute  necessity  now  that  the  number  of  people  in  the  world  who  live  in  towns  and   cities  easily  exceeds  those  who  live  in  the  countryside.  On  the  one  hand  we  can  “cultivate  towns  and  cities”,   on  the  other  we  can  all  become  co-­‐producers.  We  can  and  must  become  farmers  again,  even  if  we  do  not   actually  grow  anything.     It  is  not  difficult  to  cultivate  towns  and  cities,  and  the  most  immediate  tools  to  do  this  are  gardens.  There   are   many   examples   of   community   and   personal   urban   gardens   in   Slow   Food   and   in   the   Terra   Madre   network.   Urban   greenery   can   be   productive   and   not   only   decorative.   And   suburban   agriculture   is   indispensable  for  building  local  food  distribution  systems,  such  as  farmers’  markets  or  group  buying,  even  in   towns  and  cities.  Last  but  not  least,  suburbs  and  the  countryside  just  outside  urban  areas  are  able  to  serve   cities   with   local,   seasonal   food.   Food   processing   also   needs   to   return   to   the   land,   seen   as   a   return   to   ancient,  traditional  knowledge,  to  the  know-­‐how  and  trades  that  are  disappearing  along  with  biodiversity   and  the  farming  labor  connected  to  them.  Recovering,  relearning  and  supporting  trades  and  evoking  the   most  profound  importance  of  craftsmanship  are  another  way  we  have  for  returning  to  the  land,  whether  in   rural  communities  or  in  the  middle  of  a  metropolis.       But  the  easiest  way  to  go  back  to  the  land  is  possible  for  all  of  us  wherever  we  live.  It  is  our  choice  of  food,   our  awareness  that  “eating  is  an  agricultural  act”.  Only  in  this  way  can  we  transform  ourselves  from  passive   “consumers”   into   active   “co-­‐producers”,   sharing   our   knowledge   of   food   with   those   who   produce   it,   appreciating  and  paying  the  right  price  for  their  efforts  to  provide  good,  clean  and  fair  food,  following  the   seasons,   seeking   out   local   food   as   much   as   possible,   promoting   it   and   teaching   its   characteristics   and   production  methods  to  their  children.  To  become  “co-­‐producers”  is  to  become  farmers  deep  inside,  to  learn   all  about  food  again  and  then  return  to  the  land,  without  necessarily  cultivating  it  directly.  Co-­‐producers   support   people   who   go   back   to   the   land   and   believe   that   food   can   continue   to   embody   important   and   indispensable  values  for  a  life  worthy  of  the  name.       But  the  return  to  the  land  is  also  a  political  question.  In  each  of  our  countries,  it  is  the  job  of  politicians  to   make  choices  and  implement  policies  that  go  in  the  right  direction.  It  is  our  job  to  ask  questions,  to  stress   the   urgency   of   the   matter,   to   raise   it   in   the   appropriate   centers   of   decision-­‐making   and   assert   the   responsibility  of  politics  for  making  certain  decisions.       3.2  The  war  on  waste    
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com Forecasts   all   seem   to   agree   on   the   fact   that,   in   2050,   there   will   9   billion   people   sharing   the   planet.   Considering  that  today  (with  a  world  population  of  7  billion)  a  billion  people  do  not  eat  adequately,  the   prospects  look  gloomy.  The  most  disparate  and  “authoritative”  voices  are  increasingly  stressing  the  fact   that,   to   feed   everyone,   it   will   be   necessary   to   increase   productivity   by   70   percent   (with   cultivated   land   decreasing  in  the  meantime).     Hence  the  rush  to  genetically  manipulate  seeds  to  create  hyperproductive  plant  species.  Hence  the  idea  of   feeding  meat  animals  on  antibiotics  and  hormones  to  make  them  grow  in  half  the  normal  time.  Hence  the   inevitable  destruction  of  forests  to  obtain  arable  land  (which  nonetheless  loses  its  fertility  in  the  space  of  a   few  seasons  anyway).   In  short,  who  can  worry  about  biodiversity,  animal  well-­‐being  and  climate  change  when  people  are  dying  or   risk  dying  of  hunger?     But   there   is   an   element   missing   in   this   analysis—often   left   unsaid   more   in   bad   faith   than   out   of   shallowness—that   cannot   help   but   leave   us   with   our   stomachs   knotted:   namely   that   today   the   earth   produces   food   for   12   billion   people.   Forty   percent   of   all   food   produced   is   wasted   and   turns   to   waste   without  even  getting  near  to  the  table.       Food  is  wasted  for  different  and  sometimes  opposite  reasons  according  to  areas  of  the  planet.  In  the  global   North,  too  much  food  is  produced  and  bought  and  it  is  often  disposed  of  even  before  it  perishes.  On  top  of   this,   an   increasingly   numerous   segment   of   consumers   have   forgotten   the   lessons   of   their   elders—who   experienced  hunger  in  the  past—and  developed  a  shallow  approach,  often  also  the  fruit  of  a  loss  of  culinary   culture  and  skill.  People  demand  only  the  finest  cuts  of  meat  and  only  a  few  fish  species,  the  ones  that  are   easiest  to  cook.  Uniformity  is  perceived  as  a  merit  and  non-­‐standard  fruit  and  vegetables  get  discarded.  As  a   result,   a   shameful   amount   of   food   ends   up   being   incinerated—its   subsequent   disposal,   incidentally,   requiring  further  energy  consumption.   In  the  global  South,  on  the  other  hand,  food  is  wasted  for  lack  of  adequate  infrastructure,  conservation   facilities  and  prompt  transport.    But  food  is  also  wasted  by  pitting  the  production  of  biofuels,  biogas  and   large  quantities  of  feed  for  animals  in  competition  against  food  for  humans.  In  some  parts  of  the  planet  this   competition  is  heavily  biased  towards  the  interests  of  speculators  and  agribusiness.     Faced  with  this  situation,  the  productivism  paradigm  starts  to  creak,  at  which  point  it  is  up  to  us  to  try  to   break  it  down  altogether.  We  cannot  continue  to  accept  a  situation  in  which  the  soil  is  increasingly  put   under   stress   and   needs   to   be   fertilized   with   chemicals   to   conserve   its   productivity—meaning   polluted,   useless  aquifers.  Above  all,  we  cannot  accept  the  fact  that  all  this  is  happening  without  the  waste  on  which   the  system  is  based  being  called  into  question.         Productivism   and   waste—the   one   complementary   to   the   other—open   the   way   for   the   technicization   of   food.     The   risk   is   that   the   door   will   be   opened   once   and   for   all   to   a   scientistic   approach   that   looks   to   technology  for  magic  solutions  to  a  scarcity  that  does  not  exist.     We  have  to  fight  against  food  wastage.  We  have  to  restore  value  to  food  and  sacrality  to  the  moment  of  its   consumption.  Besides  being  stupid,  senseless  and  costly,  wasting  food  is  an  immoral  act.   It   is   necessary   to   stress   that   the   system   in   which   we   find   ourselves   as   consumers,   producers   or   intermediaries  is  founded  on  a  mechanism  of  waste  and  overproduction  and  on  the  rapid  selling  off  of  stock   to  put  new  products  on  the  market.  In  other  words,  waste  is  no  accident;  it  is  organic  to  the  system.     If  this  albeit  perverse  mechanism  can  be  endured  as  far  as  goods  are  concerned,  when  food  enters  the   system  it  stops  working.  Unfortunately,  according  to  the  agroindustrial  approach,  food  has  become,  to  all   intents  and  purposes,  a  commodity  whose  value  coincides  exclusively  with  price  and  on  which  it  is  possible   to  speculate  and  gamble.  Above  all,  like  other  commodities,  it  has  to  circulate  rapidly  and  unhindered.  In  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com the   consumer   society   in   which   we   live,   it   is   unthinkable   for   the   production-­‐consumption-­‐disposal-­‐ production  cycle  to  stop.  On  the  contrary,  the  aim  is  to  step  up  the  closure  and  reopening  the  circle  as   much  as  possible.     Slow  Food  has  to  fight  this  battle,  a  battle  for  civilization.  World  hunger  has  to  be  beaten  and  the  war  on   waste  can  and  must  become  the  emblem  of  the  battle.  It  is  necessary  to  restore  value  to  the  concept  of   food  and,  once  and  for  all,  stop  seeing  it  as  a  good.       3.3  Local  economy  and  participatory  democracy       The  local  dimension  respects  the  needs  of  the  land,  and  we  can  actively  support  this  dimension  through  the   act  of  producing  or  choosing  the  we  food  eat.  Our  convivium  and  our  food  community  are  the  places  in   which  we  can  work  and  act  so  that  the  portion  of  the  living  system  entrusted  to  us  and  of  which  we  are  part   can  work  constructively.  In  practice,  it  is  at  the  local  level  that  change  can  start.  For  it  is  to  be  expected  that   we  know  our  land,  warts  and  all,  in  the  minutest  detail,  that  we  can  promote  its  merits  and  correct  its   defects,  that  we  understand  it  and  are  in  a  position  to  watch  over  it.       The  most  logical  thing  we  can  do  is  to  support  and  enact  local-­‐scale  practices.  Acting  on  a  local  scale  means,   above  all,  making  local  economies:  taking  care  of  the  home,  of  the  land,  setting  off  virtuous  processes  or   enhancing  existing  ones.  It  is  also  possible  in  the  ambit  of  food  production  and  distribution  and  the  choices   we   make   when   we   do   our   shopping.   In   the   local   dimension,   it   is   easier   to   be   co-­‐producers,   helping   producers  to  ensure  that  they  are  gratified,  suitably  remunerated  and  enjoy  decent  living  conditions.  In   turn,   everything   should   be   done   to   ensure   that   “co-­‐producers”   can   buy   food   at   prices   that   are   fair   for   themselves  and  for  producers.  The  best  way  to  set  off  the  little  big  changes  we  are  hoping  for  is  to  start   from  our  own  lives,  our  behavior  and  the  relationship  we  have  with  the  land  and  the  people  who  live  on  it.       We  have  to  support  the  small  scale  at  the  productive  level  because  the  future  of  agricultural  systems  will  be   production  in  the  local  dimension,  mainly  for  the  local  community.  It  is  a  way  of  producing  that,  insofar  as  it   is  carried  out  by  people  looking  after  the  land  for  people  looking  after  the  land,  can  save  native  animal   breeds  and  plant  varieties,  hence  biodiversity.  It  avoids  overexploitation  of  resources  such  as  land,  water   and  energy  to  ensure  that  they  can  be  renewed  and  will  be  available  in  the  future.  The  small  scale  is  the   dimension  in  which  traditional  and  popular  knowledge  can  be  handed  down  from  father  to  son,  but  also   handed  on  from  farmer  to  farmer.  The  small-­‐scale  and  local  economies  are  conducive  to  the  dissemination   and  conservation  of  knowledge,  the  forming  of  identity  and  the  affirmation  of  individuals  and  communities.   At  the  same  time,  they  are  the  prerequisites  for  exchange  and  the  conditions  that  make  it  possible,  just  like   the   Terra   Madre   network.   We   do   not   intend   to   build   closed   local   economy   and   small-­‐scale   production/distribution  systems.  We  want  them  to  be  strong  and  independent,  hence  as  open  as  possible.   We  have  already  seen  that,  without  local  economies,  there  would  be  no  Terra  Madre,  no  producers  or  “co-­‐ producers”  and  no  exchange  between  them:  exchange  of  knowledge,  products,  information,  innovation  and   sincere  friendship.       It  also  has  to  be  pointed  out  that  the  small  productive  scale  is  not  a  “return  to  the  past”,  but  is  as  modern  as   can  be—even  from  an  economic  point  of  view.  It  has  been  demonstrated,  in  fact,  that  many  small-­‐scale   economies   produce   at   least   as   much   as   large-­‐scale   or   global-­‐scale   systems.   They   are   fairer,   more   sustainable  systems  for  the  distribution  of  wealth  and  well-­‐being  at  every  level,  from  the  personal  to  the   global.       Finally,   local   economy   and   small   scale   are   the   most   direct   forms   of   participatory   democracy;   they   fully   entitle  people  to  be  part  of  a  community  and  make  it  lively  and  prolific  in  a  proactive  manner.  They  enable  
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com us  to  take  hold  of  our  lives  and  those  of  our  friends,  instead  of  letting  others  decide  for  us  on  decisive   questions  such  as  our  rights  and  the  rights  of  the  Earth.  We  can  be  the  fulcrum  of  these  systems,  which  are   the  place  of  diversity  and  identity,  of  sustainability  and  pleasure,  of  agroecology  and  changes  in  paradigm,   of  conviviality  and  gifts.  They  are  the  place  of  happiness  and  food  sovereignty,  of  a  freedom  to  choose  how   to  eat  that  is  also  “existential  sovereignty”.       3.4  Permanent  education     The   key   word   to   describe   what   we   are   saying   is   “education”.   There   can   be   no   change   in   behavior   and   culture,  if  we  fail  to  accept  a  commitment  to  education  as  an  integral  part  of  that  change.  The  job  of  such  a   commitment  is,  above  all,  to  question  itself,  to  revolutionize  first  its  own  methodologies,  then  the  contents   of  its  teaching.  If,  as  we  said  in  Turin  in  2010,  “educating  means  making  the  future”,  the  quality  of  the   future  we  are  making  depends  on  the  quality  and  the  quantity  of  the  education  we  are  capable  of  offering.       Who  educates  whom?  And  what  should  the  content  of  this  education  be?  And  how  should  it  be  taught?     The  answer  to  the  first  question  is  deceptively  simple:  “Everybody  educates  everybody”.  This  is  undeniable   and  it  is  part  of  our  daily  experience:  we  check  and  rectify  all  the  things  we  know,  the  things  we  understand,   the  things  we  learn  from  many  sources  by  referring  to  as  many  other  sources.  Consciously  or  otherwise,  we   are  constantly  exposed  to  the  educational  action  of  someone  or  something.    But  it  is  just  as  undeniable  that   some  elements  are  more  powerful  than  others  and  that  in  education  there  are  some  actors  who  do  not   declare  their  intents.  The  market  system  is  a  powerful  educational  actor,  but  the  contents  of  its  education   and  the  messages  it  conveys  are  not  in  tune  with  our  idea  of  the  world,  in  which  the  rights  we  have  spoken   of—   especially   the   right   to   good,   clean,   fair   food   for   all—   are   guaranteed.   Another   important   actor   is   obviously   school   but,   admittedly,   the   whole   teaching   system   needs   to   be   revolutionized   to   become   functional  to  the  change  we  are  calling  and  move  in  the  direction  of  universal  justice  and  well-­‐being.   Then  come  us  and  associations  like  ours:  our  educational  potential  is  very  high  indeed.  We  have  long  made   it  concrete,  teaching  by  doing,  learning  by  tasting,  observing  and  growing.  The  experiences  first  of  the  Taste   Workshops,  then  of  the  School  Gardens,  the  educational  events  we  have  organized  over  the  years  and  our   association’s  incessant  publishing  work  have  made  us  a  point  of  reference  for  education  on  the  subjects  of   taste,  the  environment  and  agriculture  and  food.  In  2004,  these  experiences  and  these  skills  gave  life  to  the   University  of  Gastronomic  Sciences.  We  have  to  make  sure  that  young  people  have  the  tools  they  need  to   practice  what  we  are  supporting  and  working  for.  The  future  generations  are  our  greatest  investment;  they   have  to  be  able  to  make  food  central  to  their  lives  and  return  to  the  land  fully  aware  of  how  important  it  is   to  cultivate  or  be  “co-­‐producers”.  None  of  this  can  happen  without  a  complex,  interdisciplinary  educational   vision  and  a  holistic  approach.  Every  year  our  University  trains  dozens  of  new  gastronomes  who  are  fully   aware   of   the   fact   that   on   this   planet   everything   is   interconnected   and   that   nothing   to   do   with   a   living   system—which  is  what  food  is—can  be  understood  without  studying  that  system  with  an  open,  complex,   interdisciplinary  approach.     This  is  what  the  main  content  of  our  educational  actions  has  to  be:  complexity  and  connection.  True,  it  is   necessary   to   study   the   single   elements,   but   it   is   also   necessary   to   study   with   just   as   much   care   the   reciprocal  dynamics  that  connect  them.  We  have  no  use  for  expert  honey  tasters  who  have  no  idea  about   the   role   of   bees   in   agricultural   production   and   the   damage   being   done   to   them   by   chemical-­‐based   agriculture.  Without  education  there  is  no  awareness  of  the  value  of  food;  and  without  this  competence— the  ability  to  recognize  quality  and  value—the  only  choice  criterion  is  price.  This  is  where  market-­‐oriented   industrial  agriculture  comes  out  on  top,  since  it  has  the  power  and/or  the  arrogance  to  lower  prices.        
    • Slow Food Piazza XX Settembre, 5 - 12042 Bra (Cn) - Italy Tel +39 0172 41.96.11 – Fax +39 0172 41.97.55 E-mail international@slowfood.com - www.slowfood.com The  way  we  conduct  education  also  contains  a  part  of  the  change  we  need.  All  the  actors  of  change—all   those   who   want   to   see   it   happen—have   equal   dignity   and   are   all   sources   of   knowledge.   Researchers,   children,  plants,  animals,  the  elderly,  youngsters,  producers—each  holds  a  piece  of  the  knowledge  we  need,   each  has  to  find  the  space  and  ways  to  communicate  what  they  know  and  learn  from  the  others.       All  the  goals  Slow  Food  is  setting  itself  for  the  next  few  years  have  education  as  their  cornerstone.  In  this   respect,  it  is  also  important  for  us  to  stimulate  the  policies  of  our  respective  countries  and  supranational   policies   so   that   the   educational   action   intrinsic   in   sustainable   food   production   is   acknowledged   and   promoted  as  a  further  strong  point  and  an  element  of  protection  for  a  community’s  cultural  heritage.       We  at  Slow  Food  are  committed  to  education  at  every  level  in  diverse  contexts.  We  cater  for  everyone— from  children  to  grandparents,  from  farmers  to  engineers—in  every  corner  of  the  world.  We  also  intend  to   raise  our  efforts  in  this  field  according  to  a  model  that  promotes  and  supports  mutuality,  conviviality,  the   small  scale  and  the  protection  of  common  goods.  In  order  to  multiply  our  chances  of  achieving  the  common   objective  of  a  future  in  which  food  at  last  regains  the  central  role  it  deserves,  we  must  learn  to  be  more  and   more  permeable,  to  welcome  and  network  with  people  who  go  about  education  with  the  same  spirit  as  we   do.